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Eye dominance and my theory on the golf swing

Eye dominant swing impact

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#1 h71y6

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 12:54 AM

Hi all,

Just a little background. Not well known here but i follow the threads here daily. For a couple of years since taking golf seriously, i am an inconsistent golfer.
Some days i can hit like the pros and most other days i struggle to even make good contact. But let's move towards the gist of my topic.

Through experience and study i have learnt the importance and impact of eye dominance in putting. Understanding that has helped me tremendously in that area.
However, i have put a lot more effort in being more consistent in my ballstriking but it hasn't made the giant leap i desire. So many things i've tried. But i digress. OK back to the point.

I now believe there is a much bigger role that the eye dominance of a person plays into their ability to hit shots. We all know about Jack and his head turn. But what i am starting to put together is this...
- The eye dominance and eye "switch" when turning the head has more impact on the downswing and impact zone that i think most people realize.
- In a left eye dominant right hander, we can see the best players keep their cheek behind the ball at impact and "facing the ball".
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image



On the other hand, there are those that don't do that. In fact they "look" at the ball with their noses.
Posted Image
Posted ImagePosted Image
Posted Image

Now if you do this experiment you may start to see what i'm trying to say. Forget the backswing first.

For FRONT EYE DOMINANT:
Use your two hands and stretch it out. Join them in the center of your sternum. Make a hole with both hands right in the middle. You can see through this hole.
Pick a spot on the floor and position it so that it is close to your low point (aka left armpit line).
If you just turn your head so that your nose is towards that spot, keep turning until you lose sight of the spot and then see the spot again. That's the eye switch. You are now using the less dominant eye. Close right eye and you can see that you are actually looking way behind the ball.

Because the dominant eye is centered to your body at all times, you'll have very inconsistent contact. Tops, fats, skulls, thins etc.
All resulting from the fact that what you're seeing is actually not what was calibrated before the start of the downswing.

Of course, in static circumstances and slow motion, your eyes and body can adjust accordingly to re-correct this eye switch. However in a golf downswing, it happens so fast, you'll have no chance.

And there are other "supporting fixes" that indirectly prevents this problem (sometimes):
- position ball forward for all shots (Left Eye Dom)
- Keep head still (Left Eye Dom)
- Let your head turn
- Hip bump forward (Right Eye Dom)
- etc

So basically i have come to some theories. Please understand that i'm neither a scientist nor am i a pro/coach so i may be completely wrong. However i could very well be on to something.

- LEFT FRONT EYE DOM RIGHT HANDER: Must keep left cheek facing the ball (nose pointing away from ball/target) all the way to impact
- REAR EYE DOM RIGHT HANDER: Must point nose towards ball at impact


Regardless of which EYE DOM, the suggested critical point is that from end of backswing to impact, we should not turn our heads to a degree where the EYE DOM SWITCH happens.

Of course that's just what i think is going on. I'm sure there many more ways to compensate/prevent it.

I know many fantastic players that i think adjusted to the above without realizing it. I'm not one of those. I also know a lot of players who don't focus on the ball but they stripe it consistently.

I also think how dominant the eye is also determines how far off we are when the "switch" happens.

It's probably not so bad for RIGHT EYE DOM players because in the downswing, they are probably seeing the real ball position if they let their head turn naturally.

Of course on the other hand as well documented, LEFT EYE DOM players can make a bigger turn going back. Finding the "correct" ball again in the downswing is key IMO.

What do you think? Do i have a leg to stand on?

Cheers!
h71y6

Edited by h71y6, 29 November 2013 - 09:04 PM.


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#2 h71y6

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 01:34 AM

Here's Rickie... i bet he's left eye dominant:
Posted Image

And of course we know Annika with her head swivel. She's a known RIGHT EYE DOM
Posted Image

And of course, Sam Snead started Jack's head turn and he is believed to be LEFT EYE DOM.

Edited by h71y6, 29 November 2013 - 01:35 AM.


#3 Playerhater

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 02:20 AM

Yeah I believe eye dominance is big for sure.  Mac Ogrady used to do a test to show how much of an impact the eyes have on balance.  He would have players stand on one leg with their arms out.  Then he would  hold his finger up and tell them to follow his finger with their eyes, it was amazing everyone went wobbly and anyone over 50 usually stumbled and couldn't do it.  He also believed in setting up your neck tilts at address so you could get the best shoulder turn without losing the ability to see the ball out of your right eye throughout the whole swing.

#4 LONG&STR8

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 02:41 AM

I actually think Annika and Henrik Stenson don't look at the ball at all at contact. I'm left eye dominant and feel like when I see the ball making contact it's usually not good contact.  Also when I'm wearing sun glasses and they get in the way of keeping my eyes on the ball the whole time I don't make a good shot. Where does this put me?? That being said what have you done to improve your putting based on what your dominant eye is?  Need some serious help with my putting and believe anything will help at this point.

#5 dairic

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 03:23 AM

I play golf left handed and am left eye dominant so based on you model I should point my nose to the ball. I'm at my best when I keep my cheek always facing the ball like the Nicklaus pic you posted, so, therefore, I don't fit your model. I find it easier to square the club, make better contact, shallow angle of attack, and extend through impact this way. Nice write up though!

Edited by dairic, 29 November 2013 - 03:24 AM.


#6 h71y6

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 05:09 AM

View Postdairic, on 29 November 2013 - 03:23 AM, said:

I play golf left handed and am left eye dominant so based on you model I should point my nose to the ball. I'm at my best when I keep my cheek always facing the ball like the Nicklaus pic you posted, so, therefore, I don't fit your model. I find it easier to square the club, make better contact, shallow angle of attack, and extend through impact this way. Nice write up though!

Good point. Haven't figured out all the combinations but perhaps the key is avoiding the eye "switching" when we turn our heads during the downswing to impact. Or perhaps your left eye isn't as dominant as mine. Are you left handed outside of golf?

#7 h71y6

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 05:15 AM

View PostLONG&STR8, on 29 November 2013 - 02:41 AM, said:

I actually think Annika and Henrik Stenson don't look at the ball at all at contact. I'm left eye dominant and feel like when I see the ball making contact it's usually not good contact.  Also when I'm wearing sun glasses and they get in the way of keeping my eyes on the ball the whole time I don't make a good shot. Where does this put me?? That being said what have you done to improve your putting based on what your dominant eye is?  Need some serious help with my putting and believe anything will help at this point.

Yeah i think there is merit to not focus on the ball too much. As the saying goes, "swing through as if the ball was in the way, not at it".

For putting, what helped me was when i line up the ball, i close my right eye. Also using a putter with minimal offset helped a lot. I was using Ping Karsten and since i've switched to Oddysey white hot pro #3, my putting has improve a lot.

Edited by h71y6, 29 November 2013 - 05:16 AM.


#8 Jersey golfer

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 09:24 AM

View Posth71y6, on 29 November 2013 - 05:15 AM, said:

View PostLONG&STR8, on 29 November 2013 - 02:41 AM, said:

I actually think Annika and Henrik Stenson don't look at the ball at all at contact. I'm left eye dominant and feel like when I see the ball making contact it's usually not good contact.  Also when I'm wearing sun glasses and they get in the way of keeping my eyes on the ball the whole time I don't make a good shot. Where does this put me?? That being said what have you done to improve your putting based on what your dominant eye is?  Need some serious help with my putting and believe anything will help at this point.

Yeah i think there is merit to not focus on the ball too much. As the saying goes, "swing through as if the ball was in the way, not at it".

For putting, what helped me was when i line up the ball, i close my right eye. Also using a putter with minimal offset helped a lot. I was using Ping Karsten and since i've switched to Oddysey white hot pro #3, my putting has improve a lot.

I play and am right handed and very left eye dominant. Finally found that center-shafted putters work best for me.

#9 dairic

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 09:29 AM

View Posth71y6, on 29 November 2013 - 05:09 AM, said:

View Postdairic, on 29 November 2013 - 03:23 AM, said:

I play golf left handed and am left eye dominant so based on you model I should point my nose to the ball. I'm at my best when I keep my cheek always facing the ball like the Nicklaus pic you posted, so, therefore, I don't fit your model. I find it easier to square the club, make better contact, shallow angle of attack, and extend through impact this way. Nice write up though!

Good point. Haven't figured out all the combinations but perhaps the key is avoiding the eye "switching" when we turn our heads during the downswing to impact. Or perhaps your left eye isn't as dominant as mine. Are you left handed outside of golf?

Right handed in everything except for golf and Hockey.

#10 tembolo1284

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 09:35 AM

dairic! You are special then!

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#11 h71y6

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 10:09 AM

He is! Definitely a combination I didn't consider. Will think about it

#12 dairic

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 11:16 AM

View Posttembolo1284, on 29 November 2013 - 09:35 AM, said:

dairic! You are special then!

I think there's short circuits all over the place inside of my brains which is screwing up all of my outputs! Maybe I should have said no to drugs when I was younger lol.

Seriously though I think this is a very fascinating topic!

Edited by dairic, 29 November 2013 - 11:18 AM.


#13 lv_2_hack

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 11:40 AM

I'm left eye dominant and agree with the putting. I line up much better with a putter with no offset.

My head also has a tendency to stay down a long time post impact.

Another idea that can be discussed here is how some people 'focus' on the ball with one eye while others 'gaze' at the ball with both eyes. I believe this plays a role in how the head will look at impact.
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#14 drudixon

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 12:38 PM

View Postlv_2_hack, on 29 November 2013 - 11:40 AM, said:

I believe this plays a role in how the head will look at impact.

How so?

#15 Rodabodem

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 02:18 PM

What about me? I'm cross eye dominant.

That ball gave the wind the FINGER!

#16 lv_2_hack

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 02:43 PM

View Postdrudixon, on 29 November 2013 - 12:38 PM, said:

View Postlv_2_hack, on 29 November 2013 - 11:40 AM, said:

I believe this plays a role in how the head will look at impact.

How so?

I should have probably worded that differently. It will play a bigger role in how/when the head releases.

The 'quiet eye' technique is very important with putting, but it can cause some to keep their head down too long with full swing stuff.
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#17 dlam

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 05:11 PM

- LEFT EYE DOM RIGHT HANDER: Must keep left cheek facing the ball (nose pointing away from ball/target) all the way to impact
- RIGHT EYE DOM RIGHT HANDER: Must point nose towards ball at impact


Yea I believe in that too. however I would substitue left/right with front and rear eye dominant.
I tried putting both ways and it seems that the case. IM LED but when I putt lefty . Im rear end dominant and I feel more comfortable with my nose toward the ball and look up . When i putt rightly I try to keep my head still and not look up when front eye dominant.

#18 golow

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 05:59 PM

Westwood, Poulter and Fowler are right eye dominant ... they don't fit your theory. Could it be a teaching point for them if there are results that can be improved .... maybe. Not for me to say (it would be a scientific leap and I ain'ts no teacher)

Strength of eye dominance has a lot to do with putting set up positions and it can and should be considered in putter style. But it gets ironed out in the stroke of accomplished players. I'm sure if you ask any Aimpoint ™ teacher if it affects green reading and I'm sure you'll get a "yes".

67% of humans are right eye dominant, 33% left .... in 2008 66% of PGA Tour members were right eye dominant, 34% left. I collected this data with a >90% return rate on a mailer. Did field testing on every participant at 2 PGA Tour stops (missed two guys total) and got the same percentages. Never compared that to cheek/nose impact alignments but I don't believe there is scientific value to it.

You may find a trend, but I doubt it will be strong or useful.

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#19 Sean2

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 06:02 PM

Interesting information. Thanks for posting. I'm a left-eye dominant right-handed golfer. Never really thought about it before.
Hey...be nice.

#20 LONG&STR8

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 08:47 PM

View PostJersey golfer, on 29 November 2013 - 09:24 AM, said:

View Posth71y6, on 29 November 2013 - 05:15 AM, said:

View PostLONG&STR8, on 29 November 2013 - 02:41 AM, said:

I actually think Annika and Henrik Stenson don't look at the ball at all at contact. I'm left eye dominant and feel like when I see the ball making contact it's usually not good contact.  Also when I'm wearing sun glasses and they get in the way of keeping my eyes on the ball the whole time I don't make a good shot. Where does this put me?? That being said what have you done to improve your putting based on what your dominant eye is?  Need some serious help with my putting and believe anything will help at this point.

Yeah i think there is merit to not focus on the ball too much. As the saying goes, "swing through as if the ball was in the way, not at it".

For putting, what helped me was when i line up the ball, i close my right eye. Also using a putter with minimal offset helped a lot. I was using Ping Karsten and since i've switched to Oddysey white hot pro #3, my putting has improve a lot.

I play and am right handed and very left eye dominant. Finally found that center-shafted putters work best for me.

View Postdlam, on 29 November 2013 - 05:11 PM, said:

- LEFT EYE DOM RIGHT HANDER: Must keep left cheek facing the ball (nose pointing away from ball/target) all the way to impact
- RIGHT EYE DOM RIGHT HANDER: Must point nose towards ball at impact


Yea I believe in that too. however I would substitue left/right with front and rear eye dominant.
I tried putting both ways and it seems that the case. IM LED but when I putt lefty . Im rear end dominant and I feel more comfortable with my nose toward the ball and look up . When i putt rightly I try to keep my head still and not look up when front eye dominant.

Thanks, will give a center shafted putter another try. Dlam, I do feel like I'm rear end dominant sometimes on the putting green!


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#21 h71y6

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 08:56 PM

View PostRodabodem, on 29 November 2013 - 02:18 PM, said:

What about me? I'm cross eye dominant.

Does cross eye dominant mean that if you're right hander, your dominant eye is your left?

View Postgolow, on 29 November 2013 - 05:59 PM, said:

Westwood, Poulter and Fowler are right eye dominant ... they don't fit your theory. Could it be a teaching point for them if there are results that can be improved .... maybe. Not for me to say (it would be a scientific leap and I ain'ts no teacher)

Strength of eye dominance has a lot to do with putting set up positions and it can and should be considered in putter style. But it gets ironed out in the stroke of accomplished players. I'm sure if you ask any Aimpoint ™ teacher if it affects green reading and I'm sure you'll get a "yes".

67% of humans are right eye dominant, 33% left .... in 2008 66% of PGA Tour members were right eye dominant, 34% left. I collected this data with a >90% return rate on a mailer. Did field testing on every participant at 2 PGA Tour stops (missed two guys total) and got the same percentages. Never compared that to cheek/nose impact alignments but I don't believe there is scientific value to it.

You may find a trend, but I doubt it will be strong or useful.

golow™

I totally agree my initial theory was too simple. After thinking about it with all the feedback i'm getting here, i think there's more to it.

I did some experiments yesterday and i'm leading towards a modified theory.

For the golfers who are fixated on the ball (ball focused), at the end of our backswing, if we're still looking at the ball somewhere in our vision, we have time to calibrate it.

At this point in time, most likely your head has turned a little away from the target.

In the downswing, before impact, if you turn your back back quickly to center or more towards the target, you;ll find that your dominant eye will look at a different spot than the ball. For LEFT EYE DOM RIGHT HANDER, i'm looking 4 inches behind the ball.
Not good.

So i think the trend is... doesn't matter which EYE DOM, but the head should not move/turn enough from where it was at the END of the backswing until impact such that the eye switch doesn't happen.

For LEFT EYE DOM, I would try to keep my head from turning at the end of backswing until impact. I will try this on myself to see if there is merit to my madness.

#22 Rodabodem

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 10:54 PM

Means my eyes are equal. Literally. Had it checked by the doctor and everything.
That ball gave the wind the FINGER!

#23 Hoganstriker

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 11:06 PM

Being ballbound and worrying about it would be bad IMO.  IMO we should not be relying on trying to DO anything to the ball.  The swing should just pass through the balls location as release happens IMO.
Eye dominance is an interesting topic though indeed.  I look forward to reading some other opinions.

#24 Rodabodem

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 11:56 PM

Just some general information for everyone. My doctor and I discovered that my eyes are equal in every way. He said the only time he sees this happen is when someone has an asytigmatism (sp?) In both eyes. For example, my contacts are the same strength and the eye dominance tests work equally on both of my eyes. When I play pool I set up with both eyes directly over the cue. So, what should I do in regards to op's theory?
That ball gave the wind the FINGER!

#25 LONG&STR8

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 12:37 PM

I thought eye dominance had to do with how your brain works and not your vision.  I don't think your eye doctor was not looking for eye dominance, just vision correction. I also think that stygmatism can be corrected with LASIK Surgery.

Edited by LONG&STR8 , 30 November 2013 - 12:39 PM.


#26 mizunostaffer

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 12:42 PM

pretty sure hogan lost sight of the ball somewhere in the downswing?

#27 PJ72

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 12:46 PM

View PostLONG&STR8, on 29 November 2013 - 02:41 AM, said:

I actually think Annika and Henrik Stenson don't look at the ball at all at contact. I'm left eye dominant and feel like when I see the ball making contact it's usually not good contact.  Also when I'm wearing sun glasses and they get in the way of keeping my eyes on the ball the whole time I don't make a good shot. Where does this put me?? That being said what have you done to improve your putting based on what your dominant eye is?  Need some serious help with my putting and believe anything will help at this point.

When you stand behind the ball and read the line/line up a putt, it's best done with only your dominant eye. With both eyes open you're adding like a parallax error. Close the non-dominant eye and line it up.

#28 Rodabodem

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 12:47 PM

View PostLONG&STR8, on 30 November 2013 - 12:37 PM, said:

I thought eye dominance had to do with how your brain works and not your vision.  I don't think your eye doctor was not looking for eye dominance, just vision correction. I also think that stygmatism can be corrected with LASIK Surgery.

That may be the case but the eye dominance tests work equally on both of my eyes
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#29 Jobu

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 01:45 PM

my dominant eye keeps changing when doing the test.

#30 h71y6

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Posted 30 November 2013 - 07:54 PM

View PostRodabodem, on 29 November 2013 - 11:56 PM, said:

Just some general information for everyone. My doctor and I discovered that my eyes are equal in every way. He said the only time he sees this happen is when someone has an asytigmatism (sp?) In both eyes. For example, my contacts are the same strength and the eye dominance tests work equally on both of my eyes. When I play pool I set up with both eyes directly over the cue. So, what should I do in regards to op's theory?

Can you try my experiment to see if you have the eye switch? You may have to do it a few times because sometimes we can calibrate it out but sometimes not.

View PostLONG&STR8, on 30 November 2013 - 12:37 PM, said:

I thought eye dominance had to do with how your brain works and not your vision.  I don't think your eye doctor was not looking for eye dominance, just vision correction. I also think that stygmatism can be corrected with LASIK Surgery.

I'm pretty sure it's not only my brain. Definitely affects my vision and precision. I can tell you, when i used to play snooker/pool, with right hand and left eye dom, i had a hard time.

View PostJobu, on 30 November 2013 - 01:45 PM, said:

my dominant eye keeps changing when doing the test.

That's the eye switch if i understand you right. The correct DOM EYE would be the one that is the true location of the spot  you are looking at the start. So you may switch eyes when doing the test, but the wrong DOM EYE would lead you to look at a spot different from the original true location in your vision.


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